Brothers of the Head

Brothers of the Head

The British mockumentary Brothers of the Head is a biography of Siamese twins who become punk rockers.

It’s one of those films that from its premise you think it must be really out there, really outrageous, but I found it to be mostly dull.

It’s never more than a little funny, and when it tries to make more serious psychological points it’s never more than a little interesting.

I think purely as an exercise in making a mockumentary look real, it’s unusually good. The vast majority of it has the look and feel of a legitimate documentary. There’s not a lot of blatant exaggeration and absurdity played for laughs (unless you want to say the very idea of Siamese twins becoming semi-famous as punk rockers is inherently unrealistic). The music itself (of which there’s a lot) perhaps is intentionally bad for satirical purposes, but I’m not a good judge of that, because to me it doesn’t sound atypical of legitimate “angry-obscenity-laced-shouting” style guitar-based bands from that era.

But the characters (helpfully labeled “the lawyer,” “the journalist,” etc.) aren’t particularly clever or funny. In a mockumentary you expect comic, oddball people. But there’s not a single character in this movie I’d describe as memorable.

The twins themselves are just unpleasant. I suppose the idea is that it’s not their fault, that they are the way they are because of the way society treats the physically abnormal and because of the unnatural environment of drugs and booze and notoriety surrounding pop stars or whatever, but they’re still unpleasant. They were never sympathetic characters to me.

Also, my enjoyment of the film was hampered by language issues. Due to the accents, I understood maybe 70% of what is spoken in this movie, and 25% of what is sung.

And no doubt there are references I missed, things that would have more meaning to a British audience or to folks more knowledgeable about punk rock.

So Brothers of the Head mostly didn’t click with me. Mildly interesting here and there, but not a film I would recommend.

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